Ever since George Lucas dropped that bombshell of an announcement that he was selling Lucasfilm, Star Wars and all his other properties to the Mouse House in Disney, I’ve been wondering whether or not this is a good thing. George did give us the divisive prequels, but he was also responsible for the classic originals. Without him at the helm, what exactly are we going to get with Episode VII?
Many of the big name Hollywood directors have already turned down the new Star Wars. Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Quentin Tarantino, Zack Snyder are just some of the few big names who have ruled out their involvement. There’s no doubt a director will step up to the plate, but it will more likely be an up-and-comer who doesn’t have an established track record to worry about – someone who wants to make a name for him or herself. It would probably have to be a fairly self-confident director too. Star Wars just ain’t any other franchise to be playing around with.
Like it or not, Star Wars has a very specific vision that is unique to George Lucas. Any directors who decide they want to step into his shoes have to sacrifice whatever vision they hoped to bring to Episode VII in order to stay true to what Star Wars is. Putting it in another way, unless it’s done perfectly, future Star Wars movies could be bigger disasters than even the prequel-haters could imagine. Do we really want that to happen?
I have my own misgivings about Episode VII. I’ll probably go and see it when it comes out, but I’m not convinced that it will be good. That’s not to say that Episode VII won’t be good, but I have a hard time seeing it. The Star Wars franchise offers a wonderfully rich universe to explore, and it could go in any number of positive directions. But to all those disappointed in George Lucas for the way he handled the prequels, take a moment to think before you cheer his departure. It could get a lot worse, especially given Hollywood’s established track record for making bad blockbusters.
Trying to make a franchise last for decades is no mean feat. James Bond and Star Trek have done it successfully since those trusted with the reigns have molded the vision to suit the times, and themselves. Since Star Wars has been so George Lucas-centric for the better part of three decades, can the same be done for this classic franchise? It’s hard to see, but not impossible.
Will You Watch Star Wars Episode VII?